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January 2020 

The Medici rulers of Florence

Under the rule of the Medici family, Florence became one of the wealthiest city-states in Europe and the locus of the rebirth in arts, literature, and science of the cultural European Renaissance of the fifteenth century.
Cosimo the Elder Lorenzo the Magnificent Piero de’ Medici (“The Gouty”) Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany




Doctor Moore in Italy: Einar Perman

Of starlit huts and Sahelian sand: Sara Buck

Travels with Genghis: Robert R. Schenck

Doctor on an expedition to the Antarctic: Bryan Walpole

Stendhal syndrome, a hazard of tourism: George Dunea

The Waiting Room: Jessie Seiler

A column of volcanic sand: David Gullette

Taking note from nature: the wild heart of Panama:  Rachel Kowalczyk



Da Vinci at 500

The year 2019 celebrates the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest painters and polymaths of all time. Born near Florence in 1452, he moved to Milan at age thirty, but towards the end of his life (1516) was recruited by King Francis I to move to France. He died in the Castle of Amboise three years later on 2 May 1519. An unverified story tells that he died in the arms of his patron and protector, King Francis. We honor the achievements of this great man by reprinting several articles published about him in our journal. 

Leonardo’s anatomical studies…:
Julia King

Leonardo and the reinvention of anatomy:
Salvatore Mangione

Leonardo’s heart:
Larry Zaroff

Da Vinci and the spherical uterus…:
John Massie

Leonardo da Vinci: anatomist:



American Heart Pioneers



Encore: in case you missed it

Nabokov and Moore on Mental Illness

Shepherd with a goiter

Sushruta: the ancient Indian surgeon

A painful but tender embrace


Celebrating women in medicine

Rosalyn Yalow: Opinions and Actions: Maja Nowkowski

Virginia Apgar: our Jimmy: Yasaswi Paruchuri

Elizabeth Blackwell: JMS Pearce

Frances Oldham Kelsey: Kevin R. Loughlin

Cicely Williams and Kwashiorkor: Sue Reeves

Alice Hamilton: Anne Jacobson

Madge Thurlow Macklin: medical genetics: William Leeming

Ida Sophia Scudder: Angela Ann Joseph

Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewska: immigrant, physician, teacher: Cynthia Kramer

Hazel Louise McGaffey: Byron McGaffey & Ann McGaffey



Islamic medicine

During the expansion of the Empire of Islam and its ensuing Golden Age, physicians from Spain to Samarkand advanced the medical sciences by reviving existing Greek medicine and adding their own innovations.1 We have selected here the most prominent physicians who contributed to the remarkable flowering of Islamic medicine and are referenced in our journal,

  • Mesua, Yalhya ibn Masawaih c.777-857
  • Joannitius, Hunayn ibu Ishaq el Ibadi 809-873
  • Rhazi, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi 865-925
  • Al Kindi c.801-c.873
  • Haly Abbas Ali ibn al-‘Abbas al-Majusi, or Masoudi 982–994
  • Albucasis Abu Al-Qasim Khalaf Ibn Al-Abbas Al-Zahrawi 936-1013 AD
  • Al Hazen Hasan Ibn al-Haytham c.965-c.1040
  • Avicenna Ibn Sinna 980-1037
  • Averroes  or Ibn Rushd 1126-1198
  • Ibn al-Nafis 1210-1288
  • Maimonides or Moses bin Maimon 1135-1204
  •  Avenzoar Abumeron or Abu Merwan Abd-al-Malik ibn Zuhr 12th century


Editor’s Choice


By Tuhina Raman Featured on Jan. 15, 2020


Adages: maxims, axioms, and sayings

     . . . . .

” Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly and with great diligence and attention.”

Francis Bacon

     . . . . .

” I was not a good doctor, my studies had been too rapid, my hospital training too short, but there is not the slightest doubt that I was a successful doctor. What is the secret of success? To inspire confidence. What is confidence?…. I do not know I only that it cannot be acquired by book reading, nor by the bedside of our patients. It is a magic gift granted by birth-right to one man and denied to another. The doctor who possesses this gift can almost raise the dead.” 

Axel Munthe, The Story of San Michele

     . . . . .



The first ten hospitals on the American Continent: Marco Antonio Ayala-García

The Van Buren Hospital in the history of Chile: Carlos Astudillo

A lesson in horizontality: El Hospital San Vicente de Paúl in Medellin, Colombia: Moisés Enghelberg

Gorgas Hospital, Ancon, Panama: W. Paul McKinney

Hospital Municipal Sebastião Martins Alves, Lençóis, Bahia: Eleanor Stanford

Daniel Carrion and his disease: George Dunea

Art, Cristobal Rojas, and tuberculosis: MS Landaeta, AL Schenone, GW Rutecki

René Favaloro: Earl C. Smith